The end-of-year holiday season is when families and friends gather together to celebrate with delicious food and gift-exchange activities. However, some people may still struggle to put food on the table.
Holiday seasons are always the best time in the year to appreciate the value of giving. Below is a list of charities and organizations that bring joy to children from low-income families at Christmas.
Toys For Tots Foundation, U.S. Marine Corps
This program collects donations such as clothing and toys from the public and distributes them to people or organizations in need during Christmas time.
Adopt-A-Family Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services
This program matches sponsors with a family and provides a wish list of groceries, clothing, or toys. The sponsor selects the gifts and delivers them to the “adopted” family. Last year, more than 1,880 gifts were provided to participating families.
Running annually from October to December, the program also looks for volunteers to assist in providing and distributing food, toys, and clothing to the neediest families.
Salvation Army serves over 130 countries and operates food pantries in multiple locations across Los Angeles County to provide holiday meals and groceries to low-income individuals.
Its Adopt-A-Family Program makes sure children suffering from medical issues or homelessness can open a gift at Christmas time. The organization accepts donations including clothing, furniture, and other household items.
Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization, helps to fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses. The foundation relies on referrals to connect with kids fighting critical illnesses.When a referral form is submitted for an eligible child, the child’s wish will most likely come true.
During the holiday season, for every letter for Santa sent online or dropped in the letterbox in a Macy’s store, Macy’s will donate one dollar per letter to Make-A-Wish.
United Way Christmas Bureau
The United Way is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with various charities to support local communities. Its Christmas assistance programs help families learn what agencies provide Christmas relief. Its volunteers guide families to local churches and charitable organizations for Christmas meals or gifts.
Operation Christmas Child
The Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. The program collaborates with local churches to collect gifts to fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene products.
These shoeboxes are shipped outside the U.S. to children affected by poverty, famine, war, natural disaster, and disease. In 2020, more than 9.1 million shoebox gifts were given to children around the world.
Donations and volunteering for Christmas not only spread joy and compassion but also empower local communities in the long run. Participating in organizations and programs that help the less fortunate can be one of the most fulfilling ways to celebrate the holiday season.